Tag Archives: distilleries

Distillery Bill Gets Final Approval

Reversing an earlier vote, the Senate Thursday concurred with a House amendment to a bill that clears the way for more liquor distilleries to open in Tennessee cities.
With approval of the House amendment, the bill (SB129) now goes to Gov. Bill Haslam for his signature. Two cities immediately impacted will be Chattanooga, where plans are afoot to build a whiskey distillery, and Gatlinburg, which will get a second moonshine distillery despite earlier disapproval of city officials.
Both chambers had approved the bill earlier, but the House had added an amendment that was rejected by the Senate.
Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, said Thursday that he had not explained the amendment well prior to the earlier vote on “a bill that has been confusing from the get-go.” The amendment basically corrects a mistake in the Senate and assured that local governments can require distilleries to be located at some distance from churches and schools. It has nothing to do with allowing sales of alcoholic beverages on Sunday, as some thought previously, he said.
The vote to concur with the House amendment was 23-6.

Whiskey Flowing from Legalized TN Stills

Whiskey is being legally made in Nashville for the first time since Prohibition, reports Bonna Johnson in a followup on what’s happened since small liquor distilleries were legalized by the Legislature in 2009.
Nearly two years after a state law overturned Prohibition-era restrictions on the manufacture of distilled spirits and eased the way for liquor manufacturing, Corsair is one of only two distilleries to set up shop in the state. The other is moonshine-making Ole Smoky Distillery in Gatlinburg.
But local distillers say this small start is the beginning of a growing movement for Tennessee to reclaim its whiskey-making heritage as the artisan distillery industry is flourishing in far-flung places such as San Francisco, Denver, Oregon, Michigan and New York.
They envision, in less than 10 years, whiskey enthusiasts flocking to Tennessee’s micro-distilleries just as wine lovers visit the Napa wine country in California.
“Being in Tennessee gives you instant cachet,” said Darek Bell, 37, owner and distiller at Corsair. He is also vice president and partner at Bell and Associates Construction. “When people think of Kentucky and Tennessee, they think of quality whiskey,” he said.